Football Round-Up: Moralee makes it five for Millwall

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The Independent Online
'HOME ADVANTAGE: a blessing or a curse?' is a title which has yet to find its way on to the bookshelf marked Sports Philosophy, but its time cannot be far off. Badly mauled in the First Division at Oxford last week, Millwall returned to their beloved Den yesterday and made a tasty meal of Watford. They were four goals up in 35 minutes and Jamie Moralee, the whippet in Lions clothing, scored his second and Millwall's fifth after 52 minutes. Not many visitors score twice at the Den. Watford did but it was scant consolation in the circumstances.

Contrast that performance with the inexplicable goings-on which have been going on all season at Derby County's Baseball Ground. Paul Kitson gave the Rams a 2-0 lead within 19 minutes against Peterborough and the fans sat back in expectation of a sight as rare as a solar eclipse - a home win. Alas, normal service had been resumed shortly before half-time as Hamish Curtis (40 minutes) and Tony Philliskirk (44) levelled. In the second half, Posh striker Tony Adcock sent Derby to their ninth home defeat in 12 matches. It was Boro's seventh away league win.

FALKIRK beat Celtic for the first time in a Scottish cup tie before a near capacity crowd of 13,012 at Brockville Park. Goals in each half by Neil Duffy and Eddie May gave them a deserved victory in the fourth round of the Tennent's Scottish Cup. Celtic have not won a trophy since 1989 and with Rangers dominating the Premier Division, defeat in the cup effectively ends Celtic's chances of success this season. It also makes the the tenure of their manager, Liam Brady, look far from assured.

SECOND-PLACED West Ham could only draw at home with Barnsley in the First Division, an improvement nonetheless on the 4-1 thrashing administered to the Hammers at Oakwell in the FA Cup a fortnight ago. Steve Jones, recruited from Billericay, scored West Ham's goal and Andy Rammell, who hit a hat-trick in the Cup win, equalised. Tranmere, struggling during John Aldridge's suspension, ground out a win at Cambridge, veteran midfielder Neil McNab getting the game's only goal in the 88th minute.

TERRY BUTCHER, Sunderland's new player-manager, continued the trouble-at-home theme with a losing start at Roker Park. He might have suspected it wasn't to be his day when Gordon Armstrong failed to convert a 12th minute penalty against Swindon. Paul Bodin scored the visitor's winner seven minutes after the restart. Elsewhere in the division's basement, Luton beat Leicester, who had Colin Gibson sent off in the last minute, and Notts County's recovery since parting company with Neil Warnock continued with a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Birmingham.

STOKE, leaders of the Second division, and Barnet, top of the Third, both won. The Potters comfortably beat Hull to stretch their lead to 11 points as second- placed West Brom lost at Blackpool. Happier travellers' tales for Leyton Orient's Ricky Otto who scored a hat-trick to beat Brighton by the sea, a rare away success, while Port Vale won at Fulham and Bradford hit five at Chester.

Barnet, trailing Chesterfield with 14 minutes to go, recovered in the closing minutes at Underhill. Brian Stein equalised and Richard Huxford, late of Kettering, snatched the winner two minutes from time to extend Barnet's lead to five points. Second-placed York drew at Shrewsbury, who are sixth.

WELCOME to the Spanish merry-go-round. First Division clubs Real Oviedo and Atletico Madrid both sacked their coaches last week making it six dismissals in the division this season. Javier Irureta, dumped by Oviedo, is a favourite to replace Luis Aragones at Atletico, who are without a win in nine games, lost 5-0 at home to Barcelona in the Cup and recently sold star striker Paolo Futre to Benfica. Aragones was also Atletico's 10th coach in six seasons under club president Jesus Gil y Gil, the mayor of Marbella.

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